Encouraging individuality in twins

If arranging separate experiences for your toddlers is difficult for you or upsetting to the twins, don't do it. Physical separation is not what makes people individuals. The important thing is to establish individual relationships with each child, however you can work this out. Acknowledge each one's interests and achievements with smiles and praise, attend to their needs as presented. If they sense that you see them as two separate, different beings, they will learn to see themselves that way, too.

Separation in School

The subject of separate experiences and individuation inevitably leads to the issue of placement in school. It may seem logical from what we have said so far that twins are better off in separate classrooms. Indeed, many school administrators still follow a policy of routinely separating twins in kindergarten, regardless of parental wishes, in the mistaken belief that this will promote individuality and decrease behavior problems for the teacher.

However, the fact is that all twin development research in the past twenty years plus the experiences of thousands of twin families support the opposite conclusion. Twins who are allowed to be together in preschool and as long as they want to be in the early elementary years seem to make a much better adjustment both academically and socially than those who are arbitrarily separated. Four and five year olds are simply not ready to make the transition from home and parents to school and achieve separation from their lifelong companion simultaneously. Twins who are separated too soon become so anxious about each other's whereabouts and welfare that they can't concentrate on learning and socializing. Once the adjustment to school is accomplished, separation in later grades happens naturally and easily. We have found that the development of individuality in twins is delayed, not enhanced, by too early school separation.

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web